As high achievers, we are too busy for self-reflection. Yet so much of our life is shaped by our emotional health. When we don’t create mental space to process our feelings and apply emotional intelligence we can easily find ourselves sidelined by anxiety, frustration, disappointment, and overwhelming.
Part of the reason we struggle to recognize and validate our feelings is that we identify the ability to suppress and minimize our feelings with strength. We become experts in not feeling what we feel. We put our game face on, white knuckle it, and get through but it’s surface acting.
Surface acting leads to burnout because it takes a lot of energy and effort to suppress how we really feel. The bigger the contrast between what we express and what we are actually feeling in our day-to-day lives, the more complicated and heavy our state of mind becomes.
Whether we are aware of it or not we have hundreds of emotional experiences over the course of a single day. Those emotional experiences are driving you up or driving you down, impacting your behaviour, your choices, and therefore your results. That’s why it’s important for high performers to understand and be able to interpret the story that’s being told by our emotions. That gets you into the driver’s seat where you are no longer lost in the storyline. This is why emotional intelligence is the most powerful thing we can do as a high-performance habit.
In high-performance coaching, we use a form of EI that helps us identify the emotion and then unpack the beliefs that have triggered those emotions. The starting point is self-awareness.
We dial in and get curious about how and why we respond to things the way we do. Why do I feel this way about that? What are the thoughts that accompany these emotions? These questions help draw us more deeply into self-reflection where we notice who or what triggers us and the thoughts and feelings that generate. The first step is always awareness because you can’t change what you don’t know is there.
Emotional intelligence is key to growth because it provides a deeper sense of personal freedom that comes from navigating life with better control over our choices.